Women’s ‘Redemption Tour’ continues

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Ting Xuan Tan

Iowa’s No. 11, Tania Davis drives past the Indiana defense at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016.

The Iowa women’s basketball team wants revenge in its last few games of regular season.
By Mario Williams

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This season hasn’t been everything that the Iowa women’s basketball team had hoped for.

However, Iowa’s goal leading up to its last four games of the season was to go 4-0, and thus far, it’s 2-0, with games against Penn State and Illinois remaining. With these two games left, Iowa is trying all it can do to turn its mistakes around and hopefully snag a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

After enduring a four-game losing streak, Iowa got a bit of redemption with wins against Purdue and Indiana in Carver-Hawkeye. While the Lady Lions and Fighting Illini are the only two games remaining, the contest against Penn State is a part of Iowa’s Redemption Tour.

“We paid our dues earlier in the year,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’re going to continue with three redemptions. We’re on that Redemption Tour, and this will be our third one. We want it.”

Earlier in the season, Iowa suffered heartbreaking losses from Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, and Penn State. Much, of course, has been the result of Iowa losing its leads and failing on defense when it matters.

The Hoosiers scored 32 points in the fourth quarter to win their matchup, the Wolverines scored 30 points in the fourth quarter to win their contest, and the Boilermakers and Purdue completely dominated on all ends of the court to defeat Iowa.

In fact, Bluder even classified the loss against Penn State as the teams’ worst all season.

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Since that four-game losing streak, progress has been made. The team believes it’s playing its best basketball of the season after the redemption wins over Purdue and Indiana. The team has also seen growth and is filled with high energy. It’s not only evident when the Hawks meet with the media; it’s also evident on the court.

“We do believe we’re better than we’ve shown, and we believe we’re better than the teams we’ve lost to,” junior Ally Disterhoft said. “People have really grown on this team. That’s good to see, and we’re going to need that for the future.”

The majority of the growth has come from three of its starters, sophomore Chase Coley and freshmen Megan Gustafson and Tania Davis. Coley and Gustafson have found their rhythm in the post, and Davis continues to add the perfect spark that Iowa needs.

Each player has seen double figures in both wins against the Hoosiers and Boilermakers as well. In fact, Bluder noted that she doesn’t classify Davis and Gustafson as freshmen anymore and believes they’re playing at their best right now.

Gustafson led all scorers in the win against Indiana with 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Davis scored 12 points and had 6 assists in that contest. She notched 17 points against the Boilermakers, shooting 5-of-7 from the field.

“We know we were right there against all these teams, we just let it slip,” Davis said. “We know that we’re there. Now that we are here by closing out games, beating Indiana and Purdue, we’re just going to try to keep that mentality and stay consistent.”

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